I recently stumbled upon the "Flylady" website. She's a woman who basically helps you establish routines to keep your home running clean and efficient:) She has gobs of information, and I haven't even scratched the surface, but I love it so far. (her website is a little busy and funny to navigate but find the purple menu on the right and click on the fifth tab down "Beginner baby steps")
Are you living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)? You know how you dread having surprise visitors because they might see your house in a dissembled tornado of dirty dishes, laundry, toys, and stuff? Do you avoid checking the mail at noon because you're still in your pajamas and you don't want the neighbors to see you...lol...or is that just me? Do you feel like it takes all of 15 seconds after you cleaned the house for it to look dirty again? (I sound like an infomercial don't I)
Well, the idea is that you start with small routines that become habits, and slowly build on them. Then she sends me a daily email highlighting an area of the house to focus on, things that get forgotten like a couple days ago she had me clean my trash cans in and out. A job that needed done, but I wouldn't have thought of it necessarily. So, so far my daily routine is this: (and I LOVE it!)
Within an hour of waking up I:
-Shower and get dressed (down to my shoes...she insists this is necessary, you're much more productive with shoes on) and put makeup on
-"Swish and swipe" basically wipe down the bathroom counter and sink, swish out the toilet (she teaches to put some soap into the toilet brush canister, then all you have to do is grab the brush and swish it around...in my canister I have water, bleach, and some soap...I love that my throne is always clean, and the bleach makes my bathroom smell clean!) I do this while I am getting ready, and really it takes me like 42 seconds...no, I didn't time myself, but it is fast! Quick as a wink!
-start a load of laundry
-unload the dishwasher (because then throughout the day I can put dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher and stay clean and tidy, then at night before bed, I just start the dishwasher)
This is enough to get me feeling super productive! It makes me want to tidy the whole house!
Some other tips:
-Focus on some places in your house that gather clutter, for me it's the kitchen table, and my dresser top. If you spend a 2 minutes de-cluttering it, putting things away, then it will be clean and tidy, and it won't feel so overwhelming!
-My own little tid-bit tip: before putting a dirty towel in the laundry basket, wipe the bathroom floor with it! Or dust off your tv (learned that one from my mom ;) or whatever! There's no sense in dirtying another rag if this one's already headed to the wash...I mean, right?
Please share...what little housekeeping routines do you find essential to keeping your sanity?